No boozy suburbs

BAYSWATER councillors have moved to close a loophole in their local law that allowed liquor barns to be built in residential areas.

“We’d look foolish if we let it happen again,” mayor Barry McKenna said at the last full council meeting.

The council recently had a setback in its years-long battle to stop a Dan Murphy’s being built on the Peninsula Tavern site, a plan also opposed by local Labor MP Lisa Baker and the Maylands Residents and Ratepayers Association.

Big liquor stores aren’t allowed in that area under the council’s Town Planning Scheme, but taverns are.

A tavern licence would normally cover a pub that had a small drive-thru liquor shop attached, but the state government’s Development Assessment Panel reckoned a 1000sqm liquor barn could be included under that classification, as it would be tacked onto the Peninsula Tavern.

Public interest

The Liquor Commission refused it a liquor licence saying the applicant ALH hadn’t proved the project was “in the public interest”, but it appealed and the supreme court reckoned the commission got it wrong, ordering them to reconsider their decision.

Bayswater council’s now moved to close the loophole that let Dan Murphy’s in under a tavern classification, “so we don’t get other providers opening up large liquor barns in inappropriate areas” mayor Barry McKenna explained at the April council meeting.

Now any place selling packaged liquor will need to be approved as either a “liquor store — large” or “liquor store — small” and not get in under other classifications.

“We thought we had all bases covered … this council did not want Woolworths to put a Dan Murphy’s essentially in a residential area,” Cr McKenna said. “I have no problem with Woolworth and Dan Murphy’s being in the appropriately zoned areas”, like the Galleria precinct, he said.

The change will have to be approved by the WA Planning Commission.

by DAVID BELL

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